Grand Hotel Geneva:
a major renovation project and new operator in 2020

Geneva, 5 December 2019 - Le Palace Genève SA is announcing an ambitious renovation programme of its Grand Hotel Geneva on the Quai du Mont-Blanc (currently operated by Kempinski). Following an international competition, Jean Nouvel has been chosen to refurbish this emblematic establishment on the Geneva lake waterfront.

The works will concentrate on the facade, to ensure that it blends seamlessly with its environment, and on achieving optimum energy efficiency. Likewise, the public reception area, one of the priorities for the future concept, will be rethought.
In addition, from 1 January 2020, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (Accor) will take over operation of the establishment from the Kempinski group. This change in brand coincides with a programme of investments to transform the existing hotel into a veritable palace. “This announcement sends a positive message. It demonstrates our confidence in Geneva as a business destination and reflects the exceptional nature of the location itself”, commented Yves de Kerdanet, representing Le Palace Genève SA.

A programme of renovation motivated by greater energy efficiency
The works planned involve a technical component on a grand scale in an endeavour to meet the highest possible energy efficiency criteria. To this end, the GeniLac thermal solution to use water from the lake for cooling and heating the building is being examined, along with other similar options.

Ateliers Jean Nouvel (AJN) won the international call for tender for this programme of works. Its proposal, backed by the Geneva offices of Diserens Jucker Architectes Associés (DJAA), was submitted to a selection committee that included representatives of the Commission for Monuments, Nature and Sites (CMNS), the City of Geneva, and the Cantonal Energy Board (OCEN), a consultancy agreement being signed with the latter for the energy component.

Jean Nouvel is working on facades that will ensure that the new visual aspect of the building facing the waterfront and its ‘Jet d’Eau’ fountain will blend in perfectly, in terms of materials and proportions, with other buildings typical of the waterfront. The project as a whole will be the subject of a detailed communication in the course of next year. The works are scheduled to start at the end of 2020/beginning of 2021, once all the authorisations have been obtained.

Fairmont: Geneva, the choice for excellence
The global consolidation of hotel industry players has seen the emergence of chains that are leaders in their segments. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a world-leading luxury hotel brand within the Accor group, reflects the very essence of this exceptional venue that has been providing its guests with unforgettable, one-of-a-kind moments since 1907.With a portfolio of more than 75 hotels, including the Plaza in New York, the Savoy in London and the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, Fairmont has an extensive and exclusive global presence. Its portfolio of clients and its Accor-linked reservations platform will boost Geneva’s prestige and appeal.

The change in operator will not impact the management nor current staff as they are employed by the owning company. The same is true for the contractual relationships concluded by Le Palace Genève SA.

The Grand Hotel: more than just a 5-star establishment
Le Palace Genève SA also operates the Léman Theatre, the Java nightclub and the car park. It employs some 400 people. Grand Hotel Geneva has 412 rooms, including 33 suites and 14 apartments. It has three associated restaurants, as well as a spa and fitness centre. A shopping mall completes the overall offer. The public spaces will be reviewed in due course, with new entrances and an improved offering.